Daily Edventures | Scouring The Globe For Daily Stories Of Innovative Education.+Add.Feed Info1000FOLLOWERS
As Vice President of Worldwide Education for Microsoft, Anthony Salcito meets inspiring people in education every day. Daily Edventures is dedicated to telling the stories of the people who have been quietly transforming lives in their corner of the world.
Doug Bergman Computer Science Department Chair Porter-Gaud School Charleston, South Carolina, USA @dbergmanusa
To celebrate five years of Daily Edventures, we’re sharing some of our favorite posts. This Daily Edventure was originally published on March 2, 2017.
Doug Bergman has contributed to Daily Edventures numerous times since we launched the blog in 2012, and while he always has something new to say, his overall message hasn’t changed. Computer science, Bergman says, deserves an important place in education.
“We need people who are not afraid to dive deep into technology,” Bergman says. “Gone are the days where those people are the nerds — in the decades to come, those people will be the leaders. Those who are in command of technology will be the leaders of research, academia, entertainment, philanthropy, business, and even government.”
Bergman, who spent a dozen years in public schools before joining the independent school world 20 years ago, is passionate about the importance of computer science in schools, and focused on ensuring his students have the opportunity to master technology – both hardware and software.
Gamification plays a big role in how he translates his passion to students.
“When we play games, we tend to fail over and over and over, yet we keep coming back for more. Yet, in daily life, that is not the case,” he says. “When we play games, we are on the edge of our seats, mouth dripping with excitement, focus, determination, and anticipation. Eager to take risks and challenge ourselves. We need more of that same spirit in everyday life.”
Bergman, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, shares his insights through his blog, which promotes “different ways forward in education.”
Learn more about what’s on Doug Bergman’s mind in today’s Daily Edventure.
What do you see as the greatest challenges in education today – how are schools responding?
We have become so dependent upon grades and testing that true education and love of learning are not necessarily goals in our schools. We’ve got to figure out how to set up our learning environments so that “school” does not get in the way of awesome education. What I mean by that is don’t let the rules, regulations, standards, and policy fly in the face of learning. Schools should be there to support the learning of the students.
Despite what we hear and see on the news, students DO WANT to learn. And given room to explore and create — as opposed to memorize and regurgitate — they will thrive and better yet, they will drive their own learning. At that point, it is our job the get out of the way.
We are starting to see colleges not require standardized testing for admission, that is one step. We are starting to see schools not put all of their eggs in the AP basket, that is another step. We just need to make sure “learning” is what drives school, not “evaluation of learning.”
What are the leadership qualities that you admire the most in others?
The ability to do something even when others say it cannot/should not be done. Finding others around the country who see education like you do, so that you are not fighting the good fight alone. That camaraderie is vital.
Be persistent and consistent in your passions and what you believe. Always be learning something new. And remember, there is always a better way — when you see it, don’t let your pride get in the way of embracing it.
Schools aren’t all about curriculum and routine, they are places which can show the best we are. Could you share a short anecdote about an event that touched you?
One of the students in my class found a video produced by a school whose students spent a couple of weeks planning to send a doughnut into space. They researched how to do it, and ultimately, put a camera on a small shelf with a doughnut and attached it to a helium balloon and then we experience the entire ride into space.
There was no test, no quiz, no questions at the end of the chapter. We should find ways to “send doughnuts into space” in every subject area in school.
What are you reading for professional renewal, and do you have any take away thoughts to share?
Well, I am re-reading Jane McGonigal’s “Reality is Broken” for the fourth time. It’s always refreshing to hear about gaming and gamification.
Why do you feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom? Can you share a particular instance in which technology helped transform your school and the work from the students?
We are still in the infancy of the digital age. We barely know how to use what we have, yet new technologies are being created every day. Some of these technologies are so powerful that they have the capability of changing how we fundamentally live.
It is both terrifying and incredibly exciting to think about the next decades in our future. We must be preparing our students for that future. Being able to just USE technology is not enough, we must teach students to be able to CREATE using technology. The have to be comfortable creating new tools to help them solve the problems that we have not experienced yet, but that are just around the corner.
In the same ways that people must be able to read and write proficiently, they have to be able to read and write software and hardware. Every industry needs experts in their fields who can command technology–make it do what they need it to, or even reprogram it to do something it was not meant to.
Attention schools around the country: it is crucial that you redefine what you consider to be your CORE subjects. Computer Science and programming must be an integral part of education at all levels.
What are some steps you can share for a successful whole school transformation plan?
Let there be no doubt where your passions lie. Let people see it in your work every day, all day long. Let your students be part of that passion. There should be days, often, when students walk out of your room saying, “WOW! That was awesome.”
About Doug Bergman Computer Science Department Chair Porter-Gaud School Charleston, South Carolina, USA
To celebrate five years of Daily Edventures, we’re sharing some of our favorite posts. This Daily Edventure was originally published on March 16, 2012.
They call it “Project Hermes” after the Greek god who protects travelers. They believe their technology will help reduce road traffic accidents, and they’re not the only ones: Team Hermes – James McNamara, Aine Conaghan, Matthew Padden and Calum Cawley – won the top prize in software development at the Global Imagine Cup in New York. Team Hermes created a device that plugs into any car made since 2000 to track the driver’s behavior by monitoring things like speed, GPS location, RPM and acceleration, then uploads that information to the cloud. Their device then sends instant reports to the driver’s phone, advising him to change his behavior or warning him of a bad road ahead.
We asked James McNamara for some insight on his team’s win, and what he thinks we need to do to nurture young inventors like him.
What it was like to the win the Global Imagine Cup this past year? What was it like when they announced your names?
It was amazing! We put a lot of work into our project, so to get rewarded for your hard work…well there’s nothing like it! The team practically lived in the office for four months. To succeed after putting in that much effort, combined with representing our country on a global stage, was amazing. What was it like when our names were called? Pure joy.
How can we support people like you, who are developing the future? How does education need to change in order to help others solve the world’s problems?
I think efforts on a local, national and international level need to be made to enable ideas to go from the coffee house to the computer lab. There are loads of ideas out there that could make a real difference, but the support to go from a nugget of an excellent idea to something that can be viably explored is lacking. Private enterprise is stepping into the breach with incubators and accelerators, but this model should be expanded and any barrier to getting good ideas out there should be removed.
What is Ireland doing right to support education? What do they need to change?
The biggest issue is the legacy of construction/engineering-focused structures in the educational system. Teenagers do not study IT in school, so when entering university they are not informed enough to choose IT-based courses. Thankfully our country is finally moving its focus from construction/engineering to IT, and creating awareness and incentives for people to train in the IT areas.
What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?
It is undoubtedly the advent of ubiquitous computer hardware and Internet connectivity. Access to up-to-date information, the opportunity to reduce costs on parents by not needing to buy physical books, and the possibility for remote learning are opportunities to be further exploited. Initial short-term investment would go a long way in these areas.
In our case, our achievement was made a lot easier by the Institute (ITSligo) simply
providing the space and resources we needed. If you provide the minimum necessary resources to students, the students will do the work and make the best use of them. And of course, relative to most courses, the resources needed by IT students are relatively small. A desk and a computer are a lot cheaper than a research laboratory.
What’s next for you and Project/Team Hermes?
What’s next is lots of work! Some of our team have gone back to complete their studies, some back to work. Myself and Calum Cawley, along with Chris McNamara and Chloe McGuckin, have started a new company based in ITSligo and operating from StartupBootcamp in Dublin. We are working on commercializing Product Hermes, which we developed to win the Imagine Cup. So lots of work, and we are looking forward to it!
Imagine Cup 2011: Ireland's Team Hermes wins top category - YouTube
About James McNamara Co-Founder and CEO at Hermes Telematics, Captain of Team Hermes, Winners of Global Imagine Cup in New York 2011, pig and vegetable farmer, hobbyist lepidopterist and occasional DJ.
Birthplace: Ballyfarnon, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
Current residence:Dublin, Ireland
Education: BSc (Honors) Software Development Website I check every day: LinkedIn Person who inspires me most: Dennis Crowley
Favorite childhood memory: Making hay at the family farm Next travel destination (work or pleasure): UK Why did Team Hermes address this issue? If you’ve ever driven in Ireland, you can guess why driving fatalities were top-of-mind for this Irish team. But Ireland is not alone: traffic accidents kill about 1.3 million people each year. Between 20 and 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people, aged between 15 and 29. Favorite book: Currently “The Lean Startup” by Eris Reis! Favorite music: Ska-Punk
Meet Tim Rogers, a student at the European Social and Political Studies at University College London. Tim develops for the web and also for mobile! Check out what Tim has to say about his experience as a student developer. http://bit.ly/yJ7g0T
The world’s toughest problems will be addressed one solution at a time. But who will lead the change? Compete in the Microsoft Imagine Cup student technology competition and you’ll join thousands of students from around the world who are stepping up to the challenge of global change. It all starts with you.
Tomáš Milička Teacher Gymnasium, Secondary Pedagogical School, Business Academy and Language School Znojmo, Czech Republic @tomas_milicka
Tomáš Milička still remembers the moment he realized he could be a good educator.
“It started when one of my students who was working with Microsoft told me I should join the Microsoft Innovative Educators program,” Milička explains. “At first, I thought I couldn’t do that, and that I had no time and no abilities for such things. But it caught my attention, and I started to look at the materials at the Microsoft Educator Community portal. I went through basic courses and realized that it had a lot to offer – not just news, but also practices and ideas from other parts of the planet.”
Now an MIE Expert, Certified MIE and an Educator Community Influencer and Contributor, Milička is sharing his passion for technology with his students. And he particularly likes to see his students work in groups.
“It’s great to see how they learn to make an agreement, cooperate, solve problems and [benefit from the] mistakes of others,” he tells us. “I always give them enough space to get as much experience as possible.”
To spark collaboration, Milička uses a shared PowerPoint document as a collaboration tool. The class of 30 students is divided into groups of five, then each is given a part of the joint presentation – in this example, a history of computer science:
“Each group has to prepare the content and then finally present it,” Milička says. “First and foremost, I want to try the strength of cooperation and sharing with cloud technology. It’s always awesome to observe learning based on errors – for example, when a student changes the presentation styles of his peers.”
In the next lesson or lessons, the group presents their work, and Milička is always happy to see the students succeed and feel good about it.
For Milička, the biggest challenge in education today is the expansion of technology into all areas of human life.
“Many people see technology as a threat to mankind,” he says. “Another group accepts every novelty absolutely uncritically. And the third group behaves as if technology in the world doesn’t exist. Our task is to prepare students for life in the 21st century. People will have to use technology in accordance with reason and responsibility for the whole planet.”
Simon Harper Head Teacher, Technology and Learning Killara High School Sydney, Australia @s_harper3
“Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is much more than just putting devices in the hands of our students and expecting them to know how to be 21st century learners,” says MIE Expert Simon Harper. “We must create a learning environment where students use technology ubiquitously to solve real-world problems that link to communities locally and globally.”
For Harper, who has been at Killara High School for one very busy and exciting year, his key responsibility is to drive teaching and learning for students and teachers with a strong technology focus.
Harper believes strongly that for his students to prosper in the new work paradigm, they must be independent lifelong learners who are creative, versatile, and adaptable.
“In response to these challenges and opportunities,” he says, “we have instigated a range of programs to support teachers, students and parents.”
Killara BYOD Learning Hub
The Killara BYOD learning hub was designed to support teachers, students and parents through a blended online learning environment. This website provides training and support for the Killara community to integrate technology seamlessly into the learning fabric of the school, all to enhance student learning outcomes and increase student engagement.
The learning hub features a broad range of programs, videos, information, and innovative ways to leverage technology for lifelong learning.
“This program comprises a range of sustained workshops during Wednesday professional development time, before and after school,” explains Harper. “All sessions are framed utilizing the 21st century learning dimensions and resources built in Staff OneNote.”
Killara Tech Ninja’s blog
“We must model different ways to communicate globally to all of our students,” Harper adds. “The Killara Tech Ninjas blog is part of our BYOD learning hub. This is the place for our technology champions to share all the amazing stories and innovative learning happening at our great school. The blog is open to everyone and we are getting visitors from all over the world.”
And while Harper and his school are clearly embracing technology in their day-to-day learning, he recognizes these changes do not come without challenges.
“Digital advances and innovations have changed societal norms, the way we communicate and interact,” Harper adds. “The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will continue to accelerate disruption to many areas of the workplace and society.
Harper was part of a roundtable discussion at the headquarters of the New South Wales Department of Education earlier this year on how educators can creatively reimagine contemporary teaching, learning and policies to allow students to prosper.
“This gave me the inspiration to run Killara High School’s first TeachMeet for teachers from all over Sydney,” he says. “Our TeachMeet Reimagine happened in September, and brought educators from all over Sydney. This was an excellent evening and opportunity for our teachers to network and be inspired by other innovative educators.”
You can connect with Simon on his blog, or via his Microsoft Educator Community profile link.
About Simon Harper
23 years leading large and small teams as a chef
I completed an accelerated scholarship degree through the NSW government
6 years at Northern Beaches Secondary College Cromer Campus (technology teacher)
2 years relieving regional College learning project officer working with the 5 campuses of the NBSC and all primary schools on the Northern Beaches of Sydney
1 year Head Teacher Technology and Learning responsible for BYOD, computing and driving innovation through staff professional learning to transform learning with technology.
Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Class OneNote, Office Mix, 21CLD and Sway
What is the best advice you have ever received? You never stop learning. Grab hold of opportunities or make them happen.
Nam Ngo Thanh Grade 5 Teacher
Vietnam Australia International School
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam @mrnamvas
When we first spoke with Nam Ngo Thanh in May, he shared his experiences as an MIE Expert, and how he uses Skype in the Classroom – one of his favorite tools for implementing global projects into his fifth-grade classroom.
Technology plays a significant role in Thanh’s classroom, and he believes the benefits are undeniable. “Technology has become an important factor in helping my teaching and learning,” says Thanh, “and also helping my students become more effective. Learning can’t be limited to the classroom, but must be extended to the outside world.”
Yet while Thanh uses technology in his day-to-day teaching, he’s not concerned with the about the amount of technology his students use. Instead, “I pay attention to the effect [technology has] on learning,” he says. “Personally, I do not require [students] to use the most up-to-date technology. It can be old tools, but it can inspire learning as well as stimulate the learning attitude of the children.”
Thanh has recently been turning to a tried-and-true technology – PowerPoint. “In my classroom, students are given the right to decide how to study,” he explains. “In learning projects, they always take the initiative to use PowerPoint to design presentations for their products. I also particularly like the use of tools such as OneNote, Sway, Skype, and Minecraft to develop an understanding of the values of sustainable development of the United Nations.”
Thầy giáo đưa học trò “đi khắp thế giới” - YouTube
And while Thanh sees success daily when he uses technology with his students, he believes the most important skill for teachers is quite simple: listening.
“Everyone wants to share and be heard, and children are no exception,” Thanh says. “When they are listened to, they express their thoughts, and this makes teaching a lot easier.”
Chris Thackray Director of Technology and eLearning Wimbledon High School London, United Kingdom @christhack
For MIEE and MIE Trainer Chris Thackray, teaching effectively is all about providing feedback, and that’s what makes OneNote his favorite classroom technology.
“With OneNote, I can really challenge students’ understanding of a topic by evaluating on-the-fly the notes they might be taking, or the collaborative piece of work they are doing,” Thackray explains. “It goes beyond the classroom, and helps my students to adjust or rethink their approach while the feedback is relevant — rather than when the topic has moved on. OneNote is the core tool we use to underpin all classroom activity, and I see it empowering my students to do more in every lesson.”
As his school’s Director of Technology, Thackray is always trying new approaches to engaging students with technology. For the recent Microsoft Hack the Classroom event, his computer science students participated in the Maker Champion Challenge.
“We used the MakeCode website and Microbits to challenge our students to design, code and create a solution to help make the world around them safer during their journey to and from school,” Thackray tells us. “It was so inspiring seeing the amazing creativity shown by these students during the lesson, and not one group finished the session without an impressive solution.”
Microsoft Wimbledon high School Hack the Classroom HD1080 FINAL - YouTube
Like most of his fellow MIEEs, Thackray does a good bit of work with other educators to help them harness technology in the classroom. How does he do it?
“I work hard to find that context or the hook that will allow them to see what they can change in their practice and pedagogy that will enable them to have a greater impact on their students than they would without a technological solution,” he says.
After setting up OneNote Class Notebooks for all senior school students recently, one particular teacher had a genuine “a-ha” moment.
“We set up the Notebooks to give our students agency in their use of technology to support their learning,” Thackray explains. “The teachers could not be the gatekeepers of technology use. After a few weeks, one teacher came to see me saying that her students were encouraging her to share resources with them via OneNote and that, although she wasn’t keen, she was impressed by how vehement her students were about her getting involved.”
Then the teacher clicked through the Notebooks and found all the notes that students had taken in her classes (including photographs of written work and diagrams).
“The look in her eyes at that moment was a picture,” Thackray says. “She suddenly realized her potential as a teacher to work with her students in a way that would have been impossible before. It was a magic moment for me and a reinforcement of everything I believe in.”
Bisera Ristikj Teacher of English as a Foreign Language Goce Delcev Primary School Kavadarci, Macedonia @TeflBisera
Two years ago, Bisera Ristikj was asked to speak at an international conference in Macedonia where she shared her experiences as an MIE Expert and the advantages that came with the designation.
“I felt that I could provide so much encouragement to all the educators, so that they too can change education with their work,” she tells us. “I also felt it was important to add that the Microsoft Educator Community wouldn’t be what it is today without us educators. For me, it was an even bigger challenge to follow my dreams and make connections.”
As a primary school English teacher, making connections and learning new ways to engage her students has been a huge part of Ristikj’s success. In fact, the technology she’s adopted has completely changed the way she helps her students to study and learn the English language.
“I can count many activities I love, but the one I enjoy most is the creation of stories with Office Mix,” Ristikj tells us. “My first-grade students learn English mostly through short stories and chants. To develop receptive skills, I took advantage of Office Mix (transitions, effects, slide recordings) to make the learning process even more fun.”
Third-grade students participate in creating Office Mixes by recording in class and giving feedback with quizzes and polls. Here are just a few of the stories Ristikj’s students have created:
But Ristikj doesn’t stop there. “Almost every day in our classroom, we use OneNote Notebook,” she says. ”The activities include drawing on the smartboard or screen-clipping a book page, so students can write on it and yet keep the books new. I often give students audio notes and they play and demonstrate understanding, whether through dictation or a direction to do something in class. We also use Cortana to learn facts and even to learn the meaning of unfamiliar words.”
And while she has worked hard to make sure her students are engaged in 21st century learning, it hasn’t come without challenges.
“The biggest challenge for me is to raise the quality of teaching and to develop teaching as a knowledge-based profession,” says Ristikj. “It’s important to be aware of the advantages technology offers today, since technology is here to make things easier for us and our students.
Educational background: I graduated in 2009 and started teaching the same year. I have taken many courses and learning paths on the MEC and MVA. I have participated in trainings, conferences and have been selected as a MIE Expert in 2016 and passed the MOS exam for Power Point.
Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Office Mix, OneNote Notebook, Sway, Cortana and Forms
What is the best advice you have ever received? To always follow my dreams and never give up on something.
Ross Johnson Head Teacher, Information Technology NSW Department of Education Tumbi Umbi, NSW, Australia @TheNikonKid
For students and teachers alike, failure can be just as important a lesson as succeeding. For Ross Johnson, the Information Technology and Computing Studies teacher at his school, it’s a necessity.
“A couple of years ago, I had a highly motivated group of students who were keen to pass their Microsoft Office Specialist Exams (I had passed some of the exams and the certificates were on my wall in my lab),” Johnson shares with us. “Four of my students completed all the necessary training but were hesitant to take the exam through fear of failure. But I explained to the students that if they fail, they can retry the exam as many times as they need to either pass, or be happy that they had given their best. Three of the four passed the exam at their first attempt, and the fourth passed on his second attempt. This showed my students that failure is part of the journey. All four of these students are now studying computer science-based courses at university. It showed me that my role as ‘sage on the stage’ transformed to facilitator for all the right reasons.”
What is good for students also applies to teachers, Johnson believes, especially as it relates to mastery of core skills. “Curricula around Australia are too bloated for staff to be able to teach all of them with any great mastery,” he says. “Core skills can get lost. Teachers and staff need to be allowed to ‘fail forward,’ especially with their usage of current and emerging technologies.”
In particular, Johnson sees lack of time as the biggest challenge for educators today, and he wants to help solve that issue.
“In no way, shape or form do I blame teaching staff for not being able to devote more time to increasing digital technologies in the classroom,” says Johnson. “Time is fixed, and it’s being taken away by the ever-increasing behemoth that is teacher administration tasks. Data collection and useless grading is killing creativity in the classroom.”
Johnson is responding to this issue by providing tools and professional development for teachers, making their admin tasks simpler, so they can focus more on teaching after. Johnson relies on tools such as Class Notebook, Staff Notebook, Microsoft Forms and OneDrive have helped staff focus on their students and giving them the tools they need to succeed.
Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: The Surface devices are simply revolutionary for the modern-day classroom. The power of digital Inking is phenomenal.
What is the best advice you have ever received? “Get a haircut and shave off that silly beard. No need to make yourself any more of a target than you already are.” My staff mentor at my last year of university told me this on the first day of my final year of practice teaching. Very wise words indeed.
Website I check every day: www.starwars.com
Favorite childhood memory: Winning tickets and going with my family to the Australian premiere of Return of the Jedi.
Deanne Joosten Leading Teacher – Pedagogy and Curriculum Innovation Phoenix P-12 Community College Ballarat, Australia @deannejoosten
Drama is one of the most intimate, high-touch subjects taught in school. So when year 12 students in three rural classrooms (more than seven hours driving distance apart) needed a drama teacher, MIEE Deanne Joosten faced a real challenge.
“The immediate challenge,” Joosten says, “was how to take a very practical subject and teach my own class and three other schools at the same time, without disadvantaging anyone. I worried about the lack of face-to-face contact and how this would affect my relationship with my ‘virtual’ students.”
She also worried that combining four different classrooms together would affect group dynamics, which are especially important in a drama class. But Joosten also understood the power of technology, and her Skype drama class “experiment” was a big success.
“It was quite amazing how quickly the students adapted to this unorthodox approach,” Joosten tells us. “It took very little time for relationships to develop between the students. And watching the ways in which the students interacted with the screen/computer as they rehearsed and performed was incredible. They didn’t see it as a barrier, but rather used it as a component of their performance work.”
“I was working with a teacher from Japan,” she explains, “and we were collaborating on a PowerPoint as we prepared our submission for the challenge. There we were, sitting side-by-side and collaborating on the same document, but my screen was in English and his was in Japanese. Seeing the technology bridging global gaps like that for me epitomized the power of technology. How exciting is the world in which we live, where language is no longer a barrier?”
Connect with Deanne on her Microsoft Educator Community Profile, and be sure to check out her blog to learn more about the creative ways she integrates technology into the classroom.
About Deanne Joosten
Educational background: Bachelor of Performing Arts, Grad Diploma of Education, Grad Diploma of Mental Health for Teaching Professionals, Masters of Education – Digital Learning
Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: OneNote (My favorite productivity and teaching tool ever). I also LOVE office Mix and the way in which it allows me to use PowerPoint to make awesome interactive videos. I am just getting into Teams also which is fantastic and has so much potential in Education.
Website I check every day: I tend to follow whatever pops up in the many Professional Learning Networks that I belong to in Yammer, Twitter and Facebook. I love collecting new ideas and inspiration from a wide variety of sources.
Favorite childhood memory: My grade 6 production. I was the Wicked Queen in Snow White. It was the moment when I realized how much I love to perform. It was that day I embraced my inner drama queen and I have never looked back!
Favorite book: I am a bit of a secret fan of Anne Rice and her Interview with the Vampire series.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Celebrate the moments in the classroom when things go wrong. It can sometimes be the best learning experience for you and your students. Don’t be afraid to take risks and push boundaries every day. Leap and the net will appear.
Read Full Article
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.